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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:00 pm
Posts: 54
All,

It seems likely DS1 will be taking a bus to KEFW.

Under the current service schedule that The Green Bus Co. run it would mean him using FW2.

I understand that the services may change before then or certainly whence the offers are made next March.

Assuming the service remains and one would have thought the increase in PAN across the KE schools would impact passenger footfall, does anyone have any advice on what the services are generally like in terms of safety and reliability please?

DS1 may have scored well at 237 but he is probably not the most "streetwise" child, although perhaps the daily bus ride may help this!

Many thanks to all that respond.

AK.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 2818
My son had never been on a bus before, on his own, and he displays asd behaviours so we were concerned, like you, that it would be an ok experience. Ours is public bus service which is a nominated school service. In practice this means, anyone can get on, but on the school run times, if it is full, the bus driver tells the public they have to wait for the next one. Once we had his confirmed bus number (after the national offer day, the transport people wrote to us) then my husband took him on it, as if it was a school day. They walked the route to and from the school/bus stop as well - we were lucky as there are other children getting on the same bus as he does and they all waited for each other at the school gate at the end of the day for the first week. Ours is relatively reliable - I think it has only not turned up twice in just over a year and has been very late on about 5 days (meaning we have had to drive in) - but did struggle through in the very bad weather!! (But we are not the same route as you, so that isn't particularly helpful!!)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:10 am
Posts: 482
Not overly impressed so far. We used the FW8 until it was stopped after only seven weeks but generally that service was fine. We now have used the FW7 for a week and have some concerns with regard to overcrowding ( ds1 had to stand for an hour the other day) and the behaviour of older children on the service. Ds1 has told us about behaviour which can only be described as bullying to the extent a girl actually got off the bus early in tears the other day. The drivers appear to do nothing about it. I have tried to contact them on several occassions only to be redirected to Sales everytime and then be told Sales is closed.

When it works it is a very good service but money is now getting in the way of children's welfare.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:39 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:14 am
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All I can say is that it seems very expensive and that was before the recent £95 increase. £900 a year is a lot of money for most folks - another increase is on the cards for 2014 apparently.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:10 am
Posts: 482
At £4.50 per day for a service that virtually picks up and drops off outside the house is good value. It becomes less so when ds1 has to now stand for the first hour on the way home and put up with disappointingly unruly and foul-mouthed behaviour to boot.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:53 pm
Posts: 92
My DD has been using the Green Bus for 3 years over that time it has become increasingly crowded and most of the time she has to stand up, luckily journey is only approx. 20 minutes so not too bad. There have been a few issues with unruly behaviour but nothing too bad. However, my DS has just started using the AH5 and there are serious overcrowding issues meaning he has to stand quite often for the whole journey sometimes up to nearly and hour. There have also been some quite serious incidents involving bad behaviour the most recent with some older boys being off loaded after only 10/15 minutes on the bus.

I have spoken to the bus company who reassured me that this was one of the routes they were looking at because of the overcrowding issue and that in the near future (a couple of weeks) they would be looking at putting extra buses on for this route and one other. This was in September and here we are in November and the situation is still the same. Have called the company several times and they promise to phone you back but never do.

Unfortunately for DS this is the only way he can get to school as no direct public service from where we are. The service is expensive but we were prepared to pay it for convenience and safety reasons but with the recent price increase we have now started to investigate other ways of getting our DCs to school next year (eg train and walk).

I think Green Bus offers a good safe service for the first year or so at a grammar school whilst DC are settling in and finding their feet but think there are far more cost effective ways of getting them there after this and think Green Bus if they continue really need to up their game.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:10 am
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Very timely discussion on Radio 5 this morning with regard to bullying on school buses, the lack of policy and the fact one bullied boy hanged himself.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:30 pm
Posts: 583
Green Bus Setvice for us- PERFECT

will never ever put a value on my child's safety and security, period. Green bus service has never let us down and on the rare occasion when running late or broken down, keeps us informed to make informed decisions.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2093
Location: Birmingham
Hmmm...interesting discussion as my boys use the 11 and I have no experience of the Green bus.

On the 11, being a public bus, there are often youth smoking (and not just cigarettes), occasional fights and threatening behaviour, including people refusing to pay their fare, and overly amorous couples (to make clear, these are not CH pupils, but the public!), and it is usually overcrowded; the boys often stand.
In fact sometimes they have to wait until the second or third bus after school because they are too crowded and the driver won't open the doors.
However the cost is many times less than the Green bus - I was told that the fares were rising to £1000 next year - if anyone can confirm?
Fortunately they are both still in one piece and have never complained (except when ds1 was punched at the bus stop) and seem to relish their independence.

I suppose you could say that the best transport would be mum's taxi, but is that really going to help your child? As children grow, they really do need independence in so many areas of their life; not least to become independent learners too.

We are about to move house and I was googling how to get rid of the fish pond there (I have small, mad children) when I came across an article suggesting that the best way to keep a child safe around open water was to push them in yourself one day (and help them out, obviously). Now before you call children's services, I am not planning on doing this (and I'm still getting rid of that pond, as I have no time to maintain it) but the concept was interesting.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:30 pm
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I think it was that poor school girl murdered on the bus near Hagley road and the schoolboy on Yardley wood road bus stop (all before 9am( that convinced me to stick with the Green bus service. Its my personal opinion, that's all.


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